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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pig Pickin'

Last weekend the Callicat and I went to a Pig Pickin' hosted by my friends Denise & Thurmond. It was well-attended and a good time was had by all. Thurmond makes some wonderful barbecue, and it was a very very hot day in spite of the pond and the shade. I was not only stuffed, but the heat got to me.

Several of us camped on their land in RVs all weekend. Last year when I was there, the wind came up and put my awning up on my roof. This year the wind came up when we were back at camp, and we all closed our awnings. And the storm went away. Rolling up awnings is good anti-storm medicine?

As I said, it was very hot. I had the a/c running, and was plugged in to a circuit that could handle it - but my 30 - 15 adapter could not. When I broke camp I was surprised to find it had MELTED and melted the end of the extension cord (heavy duty but not heavy-duty enough) with it.

I now have a shiny new pigtail adapter which should not have that problem. Normally my 2 RV cords are enough for where I plug in, but D&T's power is further from the rig. I intend to acquire a couple more super-heavy-duty RV cords before next year's Pickin'.

Washing Dishes in a Small Galley

A few posts ago, I added Counter Space to my RV kitchen. It is not, however, where the sink is. The rig came with a drop-down counter extension next to the sink, but it blocks the door. If it's in use, you can't go in or out. Also, this rig has very small sinks. My old dishpans and dish drain from the Escaper do not fit.

Fortunately, I was able to find these tubs at - I think it was Dollar General - which work very well and stack nicely. I found an absorbent drain mat at WalMart, too. I was originally planning to put it under the dish drain, but then discovered I could simply put the dishes on the mat to drain.

Drain dishes on the drain mat

Then, when I'm done, I replace the sink cover over the left sink.

Cover the left sink

Then I slide the mat, dishes and all, onto that cover. Drop the extension and the door is once again usable.

Slide the drain mat, dishes and all, onto the left sink.

Added bonus: the drain mat goes in the washer when it gets dirty.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Rudd's Creek Corps of Engineers Campground

I couldn't have picked a better site. It was almost level, large, with a west facing yard, overlooking the lake.

Paths led from the campsite down to the lake, where boats were pulled up to the shoreline. My campsite's shoreline had a gentle slope into the water.

After spending much of the day sorting stuff in one of my storage bays for more logical storage,

and being taken for walks by the Callicat, I blew up one of my float rafts and went down for a swim. The water was absolutely perfect in temperature and I floated out to where the inlet opened to the main lake, where the "no wake" buoy is. Remember that kayak I want? I still want it!

Later my neighbor in the next campsite over invited me for a ride in his new-to-him boat. It is a very nice motorboat and we zoomed around the lake for a while. It was a blast. It has been way too long since I've been in a power boat. He'd just got this boat, this was its first time out on the lake for him, and then we discovered that when the gas guage says 1/4 tank - it lies.

Up until that point there had been lots of boats on the lake - but just as we ran out of gas, they all vanished. The sun told me we had half an hour of daylight left. No phones on board. Oh no, not another learning experience! We drifted, watching for boats, and finally saw one way off in the distance which seemed to be coming toward us. Did I mention Kerr Reservoir is a BIG lake? I picked up his red towel and waved it as a distress signal hoping the distant boat would see it.

I don't know if they did or not, because a boat we couldn't see due to the sun in our eyes to the west appeared - much closer - and they did see it. That boat turned out to be the neighbor on the other side, and they towed us back to camp. How's that for serendipity?

Being adopted by a cat will definitely change your life.

Cat using keyboard for pillow
Until the Callicat adopted me, my biggest responsibility was the refrigerator. Make sure either it is level, or turn it off. Cats, on the other hand, you can't turn off. Did I mention I work at supermarkets? And the average supermarket parking lot has no shade. So this week with temperatures in the high nineties, we got to experiment with what would keep the motorhome tolerably cool.

This Holiday Rambler is the first RV I've had that has had an onboard generator. In the past, in this sort of heat, I would wet a golf shirt, turn on a fan, and have portable personal air conditioning. Or park and go somewhere interesting with a/c. That doesn't work so well for a cat. (Although, Tuesday when I came out from work and she was hotter than I thought she ought to be, I wet a dish towel and after 3 tries she decided I was right, it really WAS cooler to have that over her.)
I didn't want to run the a/c because one must shut the windows to keep the coolness in, and if it went off, it would become a hot box in there really quickly. But it turned out there was no other way to accomplish acceptable temperatures, so I turned on the genny and the a/c and that worked.

The Callicat, however, was not amused. She HATES the noise of the generator and runs to the opposite end of the rig to be as far from it as possible. Unfortunately, the genny is in a front compartment, and Callicat's litterbox is at the foot of the passenger seat. She let me know in no uncertain terms - if you have cats you understand this - that this was not acceptable to her. Now, when I turn the generator and a/c on, I have to put the litterbox in the back bedroom too.

So far I've been lucky: I've been able (with manager's approval) to open my awning on the job site. I do subscribe to the Parking Etiquette for RVs and before the Callicat, I would never have considered opening my awning in a parking lot. However, her life and health are my responsibility and if that demands some shade to help the a/c cope with the heat, so be it.

Another thing that helps is Reflectix. Basically, bubble wrap with aluminum on both sides. It comes in rolls in the insulation department at Lowe's. Window with reflectix insert I bought a huge roll and have made inserts for all my windows Reflectix cover for motor home windshieldand a cover for the windshield. I put the cover on the outside, partly because it was easier to fit and partly because I had read concerns about trapping heat between the reflectix and the glass. Bungeed in place and held down also by the windshield wipers, it makes a most amazing difference.

$14 at WalMart produced a big box fan which I put in the dinette window. When it's not hot enough to make the a/c an absolute necessity, I can get lots of air flow using this as an exhaust fan. Someday I'll have a Fantastic Fan vent, I'm sure, but it's not in the budget right now.

So that's what I've added this year to my bag of tricks for surviving summer heat. Someday maybe I'll be able to just drive to someplace cool instead.